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Peaks Island budget proposal includes ferry and parking discounts, additional police

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Peaks Island budget proposal includes ferry and parking discounts, additional police

PORTLAND — The Peaks Island Council has submitted requests totalling $361,000 to the city for consideration in the 2011 budget.

This is the first year the island council has made a formal budget request.

The requests range from continuing to fund ferry passes for Peaks Island students to subsidizing parking for island residents at the new Ocean Gateway Garage.

The highest priority request, however, is for the city to provide the island with two full-time police officers who also are trained in emergency medical services and firefighting, at a cost of $20,000 a year.

Currently, in the off-season, the island is patrolled by one police officer. There have been two incidents in the recent past that required islanders to help the on-duty officer transport people who experienced medical emergencies.

City Councilor John Anton, who is a member of the Finance Committee, said he shares islanders' concerns over appropriate emergency medical services coverage.

Beyond that, he said, it is up to City Manager Joe Gray to incorporate the requests into the Gray's proposed city budget.

Gray is scheduled to present his proposed 2011 budget to the City Council April 5. The Finance Committee begins its deliberations the following day.

The island council is asking the city to subsidize Casco Bay Lines at a cost of $125,000. In a letter to city officials, Chairman Michael Richards said that amount is equal to the contribution residents of Peaks, Cliff and the Diamond islands make to the Greater Portland Transit District's Metro bus service through their property taxes.

The council would also like the city to spend $24,000 to subsidize parking at the Ocean Gateway Garage for one year. The council proposes allowing up to 100 year-round island residents to pay $20 per month for parking at the garage, where the monthly rate is $130 and the daily rate is $20.

Richards' memo suggests the subsidized rates could help meet the city's lease agreement with the garage developer, which requires the city to pay a fee for unleased spaces.

Casco Bay Lines ferry passes for Peaks Island middle and high school students would cost the city $22,000, according to the council, and road repairs on the island would cost $100,000.

Creating a maintenance position with responsibility for taking care of the "Downfront" area, maintaining a swap shed and running a wood-chipping operation is also requested by the council, at a cost of $40,000.

Kate Bucklin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or kbucklin@theforecaster.net